Lode Runner (NES) Review


Lode Runner is a puzzle platformer for the NES developed by Douglas E. Smith and published by Broderbund & Ariolasoft. The Japanese (Famicom) version was released 31 years ago (at the time of writing).

The graphics and sounds were ok, nothing jumped out at me as impressive for the time but it was good enough. As for gameplay, it was incredibly easy to get used to. The idea being you had to eun around a stage collecting gold while escaping the ninjas. A and B dug holes either side of you (A=Right, B=Left) where you could temporarily stop the enemies and quickly run over them but it turned out to be far more useful. Unlike your enemies you could fall perfectly through any hole you made making it a great method of escape which helps the gameplay.

Lode Runner (U) [!]-1

The 2 player modeis just 2 people taking turns like alot of games made back then. It didn’t stop me from feeling a little disappointed that there wasn’t a co-op mode. Something that bothered me slightly was that 1 and 2 player play as the same guy, i know its only cosmetic but i would of flipped the red and blue on their clothes like how Balloon fight did it.

Beautiful artwork.
Beautiful artwork.

One of the supposedly impressive features of the game was its edit mode which allowed you to create your own tiny stage. Although it has so many problems. 1st is its tiny, 2nd the game refuses to let you have more than 3 enemies and thirdly the AI act like idiots most of the time. It could of beem good but it failed in my opinion.

Overall its quite an ok game but 2 player and Edit modes feel kinda pointless (unless you’re really good at this game). I’d put a highscore here but since i was forced to use touchscreen controls i know i could easily do better.

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